Laughing at our expense?
We all know of Wikipedia and its various offshoots, the most relevant to furrydom being the directory WikiFur. Many furries of note are described there, some in almost encyclopaedic detail that the Oxford collators would be proud of.
But it would not be long before this would mocked in all its glory, for the Internet is a place that is strange and has laws unknown to man and furry alike...
Yes, I am referring to Encyclopædia Dramatica, hereafter referred to as ED.
This site looks like Wikipedia and imitates every facet of the Wiki empire, from a section on famous YouTubers, sarcastic contributions about music subcultures to, yes, furries. And it is to the subculture of furries that I will refer to in this particular article.
This site alone has caused drama on an epic scale in the furry world because of the approach of the editors. If you are sarcastic and have a strong desire to write a spiteful article about a furry you have seen active on the Internet, this is the place. No checking references as you would on WikiFur, here you can simply write an article that describes the endless dramas one fur has caused and put a website link at the bottom where the said fur resides normally. And it needs 'moar lulz'! So it is essentially an open invite to anyone who has a history with the fur the article is in the name of. Preferably this should be a bad history where you have been on the receiving end of a drama or outburst.
Sometimes it is for the 'lulz' as the headers put it. But as satire it falls down miserably. In my opinion a good satire is just pointed enough that you realise who and what the person/article/cartoon is making fun of. It should simply make you laugh then afterwards make you think 'You know, he has a point...' This is good satire that has a purpose. What you see on ED is not even close.
ED is as heavy as a hammer on an anvil. Most of the furry articles are written by... you guessed it! Furries! Although there are many furs who make drama by their actions due to prissyness/inflated egos/God complexes, ED generates extra advertising of sorts to those who seek to have their ego stroked. And being accused of being dramawhores is only going to get them yet more fans/haters/onlookers taking bets. So if furries are writing these things, then that means we live up to our 'lulzworthy' nature amiright?
It doesn't just feed the egos of the sorts who like to make a rather OTT contribution to furryness. It brings down those who are not the usual drama-seeking furry, who are more laid back and less inclined to open their mouths without due reason. Whoever may seem like a good and sensible person to those who know them will be transformed from the familiar known image to a monster hellbent on having sex with the neighbour's dog and drawing Pokemon in bondage. I kid ye not, this is the image ED will perpetuate.
As I trawled through the site intensively for the past two weeks in the name of seeing how far these goons go to spite others, I found that the site had another problem associated with it that I was definitely not agreeable to. It invites readers to troll the art accounts and LiveJournal accounts of a well-known furry with remarks that most mature-minded people would consider highly offensive and inarticulate. Sometimes it even lists addresses and online contacts so you can add them and say what a loser they are.
Don't know about you but this is taking the concept of the 'lulz' too far. It is all well and good imitating Wikipedia and permitting articles that would contravene Wiki's strict rules about impartiality, but the rules about impartiality are there for a very good reason. They are to protect users and the persons named in the articles. And ED, being ED, has to go in the opposite direction yet again. But this move could be a very risky one. If the online petition to shut down ED doesn't work, a lawsuit surely would...
So while ED can be a barrel of laughs at moments, this is not enough to redeem the site from a hefty barrage of relevant criticism. First, it invites trolling activities. Second, it has the capacity to hurt a person's feelings by recounting the negative experiences of an online user and laughing at them in the worst possible way. Third, it is as inarticulate as the 13 year old boys it purports to make fun of. Fourth, it is hardly the best satirical site about. If anything, it appears ED is more the site for the bitchier sorts online who like nothing better than arguing and bellowing online about how everyone is 'epic fail' and they are not. In short, they are idiots with loud voices, like Sun editors given free rein. Maybe a few of those hacks moonlight as EDitors...
So from this, you can gather I don't like the site much. Think I'll just stick to good old Wiki instead! Over and out, comrades! —Loupgaros